View Full Version : James "Boomer" Grigsby

04-25-2005, 12:34 AM
Guy is interesting. But this article says he's too small. We will find out.


James "Boomer" Grigsby was an all-area selection as a senior at Canton (Ill.) High, recording 120 tackles (80 solo) with five sacks and 10 stops for loss. He led his team to a 10-2 record and a spot in the Class 4A playoffs. The honor roll student also excelled in gymnastics, winning the USTA trampoline and double mini championship as a member of the AAU national team. He also was a three-time All-American trampoline award champion.

The son of Paula and David Grigsby, he was born James Grigsby but was nicknamed Boomer by his grandmother on the date of his birth (Nov. 15, 1981). Grigsby is an avid weightlifter who takes great pride in his work ethic. He has become a "hometown" hero as the city of Canton, Ill., is supportive and many residents travel to watch him play in his home games.

Grigsby redshirted in 2000 at Illinois State, but set a school freshman record the following year as he posted 93 tackles (52 solo) with three sacks and five stops behind the line of scrimmage. He earned Gateway Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors and was a consensus All-America pick in 2002, registering 179 tackles (108 solo) with four sacks, 16 stops for loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Only Galen Scott (186 in 1998) recorded more tackles in a season at ISU.

He finished second in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award (given to the top defensive player in the Division 1-AA ranks), was a unanimous All-America choice and picked up Gateway Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2003. He again totaled 179 tackles (109 solo) with three sacks and 12 stops behind the line of scrimmage, leading the Gateway in tackles for the second straight year.

Grigsby again garnered All-America and Gateway Player of the Year accolades as a senior despite missing the season finale with a knee injury. He finished third in the Buck Buchanan Award voting, finishing his senior year with 129 tackles (56 solo), three sacks, 8 stops behind the line of scrimmage and two forced fumbles.

In 44 games as a Redbird, Grigsby started 40 times. He recorded 580 tackles (325 solo), breaking the conference and school career record of 579 set by Galen Scott (1997-2000). He also had 13 sacks for minus-77 yards and 41 stops for losses of 132 yards. Only Scott (43) and John Kropke (54, 1984-87) had more tackles behind the line of scrimmage in school history. His six fumble recoveries tied the ISU record of six, set by several players (most recently by Jerry Creer, 1993-96). He also caused five fumbles and deflected seven passes.


Grigsby is a bit undersized and will have to operate in a 4-3 defense in the pros, or possibly move to weak-side linebacker to take advantage of his foot speed. Grigsby would be best served operating in a system that will cover him up and let him roam free. He is a much better performer making plays on the move, as he does not always use his hands effectively to prevent blockers from getting into his exposed chest and stonewalling him on the play. He lacks natural hands for the interception, and while he will make the effort, his small hands make him fight to secure the ball.

Blessed with exceptional quickness, for some reason this avid weightlifter's strength does not always translate to the football field. He has the speed to string plays wide, but when asked to face up he struggles to shed. He just seems to lack the size with bulk to hold up at the point of attack at times. He has very good lateral agility and reads the full flow of the ball well. He is very instinctive making reads and is alert to blocking schemes.

He has a great closing burst and good range vs. the run. Grigsby also does a good job of avoiding blocks on the move, which allows him to angle and take the shorter route to the ball carrier.

On the run, he is capable of taking proper angles to the ball and using his speed to slip through trash and make tackles in the backfield. He is more of an arm tackler, leading to a lot of missed hits as the bigger runners are able to slip off his shots. Grigsby is a powerful tackler but needs to improve his hand usage in order to gain good leverage. He seems to run around blocks too often, and while he has good lateral agility, looks a little stiff in his hips when having to redirect.

Against the inside run, his weight-room strength does not translate to the field. He has trouble shedding at times and can get pushed around working inside the box. He is a good wrap-up tackler who can generate pop, but sometimes looks soft taking on the lead block and needs to bring his feet and explode into the ball carrier better. He is more of a move-oriented tackler, as he does not make many tackles head-on, but can wrap and drag the opponent down.

His pass-coverage skills, especially in one-on-one situations, are lacking. He seems to be late reacting to the receiver's moves and lacks the size to reroute tight ends. He needs to get better hand placement in pass protection and must do a better hob of getting to the drop point when playing in the zone.

As a pass rusher, he lacks any type of moves to be consistent here. He fails to avoid blockers on the inside blitz, but shows suddenness when coming off the edge and having a clear lane. His strength in the weight room could be better featured if only he'd face up more on tackles. He has marginal pass-drop agility and is prone to reading fakes and biting on play-action in pass coverage. He needs to learn better zone coverage responsibilities, as Grigsby is not always in the right spot in his pass drop.

Grigsby has good athletic ability and can contribute on the next level, but it's doubtful if he will ever come close to matching his collegiate statistics. Some teams might be considering him as a strong safety, as they feel he has reached maximum size growth potential. But with his pass coverage difficulties, it would be tough to make a position change at this time.


2004: Sat out the season finale vs. Florida Atlantic after undergoing surgery on Nov. 17 to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee.


4.55 in the 40-yard dash 400-pound bench press 600-pound squat 335-pound power clean 36-inch vertical jump 30-inch arm length 9-inch hands Right-handed .


Attended Canton (Ill.) High, playing football for coach Steve Graves All-area as a senior when Canton was 10-2 with a spot in Class 4A's elite eight Recorded 120 tackles as a senior with 80 solo, 10 stops for lossand five sacks His interception sealed a playoff win over top-seeded Rochelle Honor roll student Was the USTA trampoline and double mini champion and a member of the AAU national team. Three-time AAU All-America trampoline award winner.


Business administration major Nicknamed Boomer by his grandmother on the date of his birth (real name is James) Son of David and Paula Grigsby Born Nov. 15, 1981, in Canton, Ill.

04-25-2005, 12:38 AM
I like this pick....He acts like one tough SOB...I could see him turning out to be another Zach Thomas...They said he was too small also..

04-25-2005, 12:50 AM
Sounds like he'll be fun to watch on special teams.